Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What's Making Me Smile

When I arrived home from teaching my class on Saturday, these were waiting for me. (Thanks Pat!)


On Sunday, I trimmed the quilt for Lynn an Ty and it's ready for the binding to be hand stitched.


This was waiting for my, along with a cup of freshly brewed coffee, Monday morning.



 And tonight, these are still making me smile,


Sometimes we forget the joy that little things can bring to our lives. 

Slow down and smell your "roses." 

You may not be smelling actual roses, but take the time to think about who and what makes you happy. It's important and you should make time to do it every day!  :-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tip Tuesday! The Mighty Pen

"Tip Tuesday!" - The Mighty Pen

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

******************************************************
Recently I've found that the most important tool in my sewing room is a pen or pencil. I know that sounds strange, but it's true.

Image result for pen and pencil images

I'm assuming you all have at least one UFO or a project that you've started and need to be away from for a while. If so, I'm sure you can relate to the "get acquainted again" issues that go along with them. 

You know how it is. You started a project and then hastily packed it away because you just "had" to make something using that wonderful new fabric you bought. 

Well, days can turn into weeks, months or even years. And when you do start to work on the project again, you have no idea how many blocks you still need to make because you can't remember which size you were going to make. And then there are those random pieces of fabric that you aren't sure how they were to be used. Are they for the borders? Backing? What?

Image result for stack of fabric imagesImage result for question mark clip art
 
After running into a couple of projects recently that included only minimal explanation or direction, I decided to take the time to not only be sure that fabric and patterns were together, but to label the fabrics so I know exactly where and how I was planning to use them. Sure, I may change my mind when I actually work on the project again, but I don't waste near as much time trying to figure out where I ended and what I still need to do. 

You can use whatever labeling method you like. I've written the information along the selvage, adhered snippets of the fabric to block mock up sheets, used pieces of paper pinned to the fabric, stuck Post It Notes on each piece of fabric, etc. Whatever you do though, be sure that the labeling will not leave a residue or destroy the fabric. I know someone who wrote notes on masking tape and adhered that to the fabrics only to find that the tape left marks and residue that she could not remove. Granted the project had been stored in a paper bag in the basement for almost ten years, but it was still a mess and when she tried to cut around the residue, she did not have enough fabric to complete the project.

Image result for labeled fabric images

Labeling the fabrics also allows me to know if I have all the fabric I need or if I have yet to purchase some. I've been known to make all the blocks and get ready to sew them together before I realize that I don't have the sashing fabric. (In my defense though, I often intentionally wait to buy border fabric so it doesn't count if I don't have that.)  

And finally, as much as I hate to admit it, my memory really isn't as good as it used to be. With that in mind, I've been keeping a pretty good record of each project as I'm working on it - almost like a journal. I habitually make notes on patterns in case I decide to teach it as a class because I like to give students various tips or suggestions so they can avoid any pitfalls that I encountered. Not only do these notes help me for teaching, they make it very easy to jump right back in to working on a project after having been away from it for a while.

So the next time you start a project (or revisit an old one), have a pen or pencil ready. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Design Wall Monday

I've been teaching a couple of "beginner-friendly" classes lately and decided to update my class samples. 

Since I like to provide step by step visual aids, I always have a bunch of partially constructed blocks and rows just waiting to be completed and used in a quilt. When I finish this quilt, it will be donated. 

I have two more rows to add and since the blocks are already made, I should be able to finish the top later today. Yippee!



What are you working on today?

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for Tip Tuesday!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tip Tuesday! - Home Machine Maintenance

Oops! My days are all confused with the holiday on Monday. I completely forgot to schedule this post for yesterday. Even though it's a day late, ENJOY!


***********************************************************

"Tip Tuesday!" - Home Machine Maintenance

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

******************************************************


Last couple of weeks, I've introduced you to Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt who has a mini series on "Tackling Tension" and it is just filled with lots valuable information. I was going to share part 3 of the series - Troubleshooting Checklist - today but it is still in "the works" so we'll have to wait a bit longer. I'm sure it will be well-worth the wait.

What I do have for you today is some really good "at home machine maintenance" for you. I know I have already done a Tip Tuesday! post on sewing machine maintenance, but this one has even more information. 

Check out Sew4Home's  post HERE

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

We Support You Blog Hop - Last Day


It's the last day   :-(




Feb 11th  







I have enjoyed every minute of this hop and hope you have as well. Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Day! We Support You Blog Hop

Click HERE if you are looking for today's 
Tip Tuesday!

Welcome to my day of the 

We Support You Blog Hop


We can all use friends and there are few better than the two ladies who have organized this hop. 
Thanks Mdm. Samm @ Sew We Quilt! and 
You two are awesome!

I'm sure, like me, you've all been enjoying the wonderful creations using the darling bra pattern designed by Mdm. Samm. There's good news for you all. 

The "We Support You" Friendship Quilt Pattern is available 
for purchase for $12.00 by emailing Mdm Samm directly to

I look forward to seeing what you create!

Be sure to check out all of today's participants. 
You'll find some awesome eye candy and great inspiration!

Feb 10th  



Everyone Deserves A Quilt (You are here!)



As many of you know, I've been involved in a numerous breast cancer fundraising and awareness activities over the years and I was thrilled when this hop was announced!

Back in 2007 my daughter Lynn and I walked in our first Breast Cancer 3-Day, 60 Mile walk. Although it was challenging (physically and emotionally), we raised our required money ($2200 EACH!), did our training walks and thought we were totally prepared. Well, nothing could have prepared us for what we encountered! We met survivors, current fighters, caregivers, and many friends and family of those who lost their battle with the disease. 

Weather-wise, the weekend was miserable (rainy and cold), but I laughed and cried so much that weekend that the crappy weather didn't really matter. By the end of the event, I was hooked and Lynn and I signed up to walk the following year, and my husband Jack signed up to be a volunteer. In 2009, Jack and I walked in the Dallas 3-Day event and that is where I met my friend Darlene. From this point on, Darlene will be known as Darlin' because that is how her Dad said her name and that's what everyone calls her today. :-) Today's creations are for Darlin' - my inspiration and my hero. 

The rest of this post is an open letter to Darlin'. Please read and enjoy!

Dear Darlin' (I'm imagining your dad saying your name and you are right. He DOES sound just like Sam Elliott! - Oh My!!),

I think (hope) I've finally found a way to surprise you, and send a little bit of our Ohio winter your way.  :-)  I can't imaging being 40 years old and facing the "Big C" for a second time. You are an amazing woman who thinks of everyone else first and always works tirelessly to make others feel good, laugh and forget about their troubles, if even for only an hour. Well, today it's your day to laugh and forget.  :-)

Remember when you told me that chemo and radiation kicks your butt and makes you feel like that old worn and beat up sofa in your grandma's parlor? And even though you know it will grow back, you are angry that your long black hair is almost gone and that you'll soon simply need to use a towel, rather than a hair dryer. You hate the way you look and have started avoiding mirrors. You are angry with yourself because these changes are making you hate how you look, which you've never done before. In our last conversation, you said you just want to throw something or someone across the room and be done with the anger. 

Well guess what? Here's a "Dam**t Doll"* for you to do just that. There's a saying that goes along with this doll:


When everything goes wrong for you,
don't throw, kick or shout.
Here's a little "Dam**t Doll"
you just cannot be without.
Just grab it firmly by the legs
and find a place to slam it.
As you whack the stuffing out,
yell - Dam**t, Dam**t, Dam**t

Do you notice the old warn out sofa look to this doll? What about the sparse black hair and lack of eyes? I did that just for you Darlin'. And yes, this doll is in the middle of a snow bank!


Dammit Doll

Here's you doll's long-lost sister. She's the one Mom gave me a long time ago. 

Dammit Doll

Throw away that negative image of yourself because Darlin', you are BEAUTIFUL! I think you should come to Ohio and make snow angels with me! That will really make you feel wonderful.  :-)

When you made the decision to not have reconstructive surgery, you said your only regret was that you never wore one of those "pretty" bras. Over the years, you've also said that you are a cow girl through and through - down to your skivvies. Well, I've combined those two things for you and here's your "pretty" cow girl bra!

Bra Quilt - We Support You Blog Hop - Trapunto - Glow in the Dark Thread

And to show you (and your bra) that you are surrounded by love and support...

Bra Quilt - We Support You Blog Hop - Trapunto - Glow in the Dark Thread


Bra Quilt - We Support You Blog Hop - Trapunto - Glow in the Dark Thread

Darlin', your bra might not be filled anymore, but that doesn't matter. You have so many friends and family who care, and our heats are overflowing with love for you.

Bra Quilt - We Support You Blog Hop - Trapunto - Glow in the Dark Thread

I know you struggle at night because all those "demons" rear their ugly heads at 2:00AM, but you can turn off those lights and sleep tight my dear. Our words of support not only surround you during the day, but they glow in the dark and will support you while you sleep. (I wish I could have gotten a picture of the glowing, but my camera would just not cooperate! The words all really glow and it is awesome. I outlined stitched all the trapunto letters with Superior Threads' Nite Light Extra Glow and then stitched just outside that in red thread.)

Bra Quilt - We Support You Blog Hop - Trapunto - Glow in the Dark Thread

Bra Quilt - We Support You Blog Hop - Trapunto - Glow in the Dark Thread


Bra Quilt - We Support You Blog Hop - Trapunto - Glow in the Dark Thread

Bra Quilt - We Support You Blog Hop - Trapunto - Glow in the Dark Thread

And finally, because you love to carry a tote bag instead of a purse, here's a reversible one**  just for you. (Ok, I know you'd rather have a saddle bag, but I just couldn't do that!) I think it has a cow girl feel to it. You know, to match your bra. :-)

Reversible Tote Bag

Reversible Tote Bag

You sure you don't want to come to Ohio any time soon? We could go for a horse back ride.

 Bra Quilt - We Support You Blog Hop - Trapunto - Glow in the Dark Thread - Dammit Doll - Reversible Tote Bag

So in conclusion Darlin', Thanks for being a part of my life and allowing me to be a part of yours.

You are loved!

**********************************************************

*Inspiration for the Dam**t Doll came from one that my mother gave me when I was going through my divorce in 1997. It made me laugh then and it still does. Here's a close up of the card that is attached to the doll. Looks like maybe I've used this a few times, doesn't it?  By the way, I apologize if this insults anyone. It certainly was not meant to be mean, but I knew that Darlin' would love this. 


Dammit Doll

**The tote bag is my adjusted version of The DIY Reversible 1 Hour Tote found at Haberdashery Fun. 

This post is linked to Show and Tell Tuesday 
at 

Tip Tuesday!

"Tip Tuesday!" - Tension Part 2

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 


Last week, I introduced you to Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt who has a mini series on "Tackling Tension" and it is just filled with lots valuable information. 

This week, Lori discusses Nine Factors that Influence Tension and it is well worth the read.   

Check out part 2 of her series HERE.

If you missed part 1, click HERE